It was always going to be a debate who could trap and make the first bend. The answer was a dazzling burst to the bend by the O’Donnell trained Born Warrior.Housed in trap five it was the three dogs fighting for the lead but the pace of trap 5 would not be denied.He went off at at odds of 11/2.
Coinicidentially it was also a five timer for the O’Donnell family to win the greyhound derby over the years. Jennifer trained this year’s winner of The BoyleSports Greyhound Derby, her dad Matt three ,and her mun Frances once. A great family achievemnent.
The What Ever You Like syndicate picked up a prize of €125,000 on the night.
Born Warrior enjoying the adulation of the crowd and press.
The favourite Callaway Pro Am had his chance but couldn’t find the earlier performances of the unbeaten previous rounds.The real danger appeared down the back straight in what appeared to be a potential winning move by Ballymac Finn. Many in the crowd would have thought he would win home. This,however, was a final and the Tipperary trained warrior found the extra strenght and power to hold off the strong challenge and win by a half lenght in a clock of 29.53 over 550 yards.
The strong finishing Crafty Kokoro lost the initiative going into the third bend having to check as trap one, Callaway Pro Am took her line,her chance of winning now gone .
It was a shoot out to the end but Born Warrior did it and held off Ballymac Finn.
Meath connections Marie Wedding chance evaporated at the first bend, the stronger dogs pushed her out, and that was that. They got to a final and her chance will come along again and so will Crafty Kokoro’s maybe in the longer distances.
Kildare won The Michael Fortune Memorial Trophy out of trap five in the previous race 7 in a fast time of 29.35 over the 550 yard distance.
In the consolation derby Cryptopunk obliged at 2/1 fav. in a clock of 29.58
All and all it was a thrilling final for the highlight event of the year at Shelbourne Park.